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Summer Challenge

Rocket Math Add at Home

Price: iPhone/iPad - Free

Teacher Overview

Math Rocket is an offshoot of an existing programme for schools designed to increase children's speed and fluency in answering simple arithmetic.  This app encourages frequent short sessions and is supported by plenty of information explaining its purpose and methods.

Teacher Review

The purpose of Math Rocket is to build what its developer terms "automaticity" in arithmetic.  A fluent reader does not need to decode simple and frequently encountered words letter by letter.  The same can be true for frequently encountered arithmetic.

When automaticity is achieved in arithmetic the answers are available in an instant.  The advantages of this, beyond speed, are that it leaves more of the person's mental processes available for other aspects of the problem.  If a person does not have to think about achieving simple arithmetic answers, he or she can concentrate on the more complex and lengthier aspects of a problem.

Maths Rocket the app follows on from a well-established programme of the same name based on traditional written resources.  Repeat practice and a steady increase in the breadth of the covered arithmetic are at the heart of its methods.

Children are taken through a series of stages in which they are faced with a rapid succession of arithmetic questions.  Remember, the purpose of this app is to build fluency in frequently encountered arithmetic problems, not complex ones.  As such, the questions will be simple ones and, at first, until the breadth expands, there will be little variation in them.  Only three seconds is allowed per question so, for some children, developing enough fluency to progress will be difficult but others will thrive on the challenge.

Answers are given by typing them onto a built-in number pad.  The app is simple to use and looks attractive.  Its space-travel styling and theme add a game-like feel although it is not a game.  Speech provides a response to incorrect answers and provides encouragement between levels.  It all works very well and provides the exact type of practice that it promises.

An unusual but useful feature is that the app enforces its little-and-often recommendations by insisting on a thirty-minute break after 5 minutes of play.  As multiple sessions are likely to yield better results than a single, marathon session, this is an excellent feature that will prevent children from relying on a last-minute catch-up rather than a steady engagement with the app.  This, combined with a useful breakdown of each child's performance in the student report screen, provides reassurance to adults that their children are making the best possible use of the app.

A family of apps is available and potential buyers should think about which they need.    Two of the apps cover addition and subtraction and two cover multiplication and division.  Your choice here is obviously dependent on what aspect you would like to cover.  

The remaining choice is between a school and a home version.  They are identical in functionality except that the home version is free to download with a lengthy trial period.  The school version has a flat, one-off, fee.  Prospective teachers would still be wise to download the home version first so that they can appraise the app's suitability.  

If they choose to utilise the app within their school then buying the school version will be a simpler process than the in-app purchase of the home version.  It will also allow schools to utilise the volume purchasing programme whereby they can receive a discount for buying twenty or more of the same app.

Parents will be pleased to see that the app caters for up to three children.  As each child engages with the app, parents can check to see how they are performing and offer help, encouragement or rewards as they see fit.    Some useful background information on the app's purposes and usage are provided within the app itself and a more comprehensive overview of the Rocket Math ethos is available on the developer's website.

All of the Rocket Math apps provide a learning opportunity that is tightly focused on realising their goal of improving children's arithmetic fluency.  As such, if this is a goal that you also share, you will find them good value and useful apps.

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Screenshots

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Developer Description

HOME version gives a substantial free trial period before it requires a $2.99 in-app purchase.

You’re not just keeping them busy--this app actually TEACHES!  Help your kids learn addition and subtraction in a fun, easy and convenient way - directly from your Apple mobile device!

For 20 years Dr. Don Crawford’s famous paper-and-pencil Rocket Math program has been helping kids improve their math skills in classrooms around the country. Now this revolutionary program is available in a convenient and educational app!

Rocket Math has proven to improve addition and subtraction skills in early school age children through this fast-paced format. Your kids can watch their progress and build upon their achievements as they go. While enjoying this challenging game, they will be proud of what they’re learning!

Rocket Math will improve your children’s speed, fluency and accuracy for single digit
addition and subtraction facts. Their ability to quickly recall these basic facts will make moving on to higher level math much easier in the later grades.

Rocket Math proudly meets this Common Core State Standard:

CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.B.2 - By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two
one-digit numbers.

Rocket Math App Features:

• Voice guided, all errors or hesitations are instantly re-taught, no parent intervention needed.

• Your child’s progress stored on the device so no connection to internet is needed to play.
• Family friendly - keeps track of up to 3 students
• Print or email achievement certificates from the device.

• Plays through levels A-Z as users learn more facts.
• Each level begins with "Take-Off" followed by "Orbit" and then finishes with "Universe."
• Multiple levels - Small steps in a carefully designed sequence ensures success.
• Learn addition facts followed by subtraction.

Users say:

"This app is self-motivating for students and gives them the immediate feedback they need. I have seen dramatic improvements in my students’ automaticity because of this revolutionary app. " Mark Frank, Menahga MN

“This app teaches math facts in a structured, systematic way, instead of just presenting equations randomly. The spaceship setting ...very motivating ...this is a great app!”  Christine Carey, Milwaukee, WI

“Rocket Math is the first fun math app I've seen that really works to make you fast at basic calculations. Everything is done in small steps so you can get lots of successes.”  Douglas Corin, Queensland, Australia

"This is my favorite math fact app. Thanks to this app I now know all my math facts." 4th grade student, Menahga Elementary, MN

“I love this app because it's the first math facts app or program that has been able to actually keep my son engaged!”  Belinda Durling, West Jordan, UT

“The new rocket math app is a game changer for students, educators, and parents. Learning basic facts will no longer be a frustrating, mundane, forgotten task. This app is what you have been waiting for! Students will enjoy the app's cool design, upgrading to the next level, and tapping the answer. Teachers will enjoy the convenience, improvement in skills, and excitement for students to master their facts.”  Kaitlin B., Boyertown, PA

"I like the rocket math app, because it's fun and helps you learn. It’s exciting every time you earn a new letter!"  Aleeya, Boyertown, PA

“My son said that he likes the app Rocket math better than any others he’s tried. He thought it was fun!” Amy Rottmann, Wilmington, NC

"I like Rocket Math because you can learn maths fast. You don't have to use your fingers.” A seven year old, Queensland, Australia

"Rocket Math: The App has been valuable in helping my students achieve fluency with basic math facts.” Jessica Vreeland, Rio Rico, AZ

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